Patrik Sandell made it two wins from two starts with the Red Bull Rally Team as he took full advantage of late-rally problems for main rival Armindo Araujo in Cyprus to extend his points lead in the Production WRC.
Chasing a 100 per cent record after winning on debut in Norway, the Swede trailed Araujo for much of the rally, before Sunday's final leg turned the tables. The penultimate 40-kilometre Anadiou stage not only saw Sandell set the fastest PWRC time, but also saw Araujo beset by gearbox problems which undid all of his earlier good work and left him trailing the Red Bull Skoda by a massive 34 seconds.
Sandell was not about to let the opportunity for a second win slip away on the final 11km stage, posting another fastest PWRC time to edge Araujo by 0.8secs and cement the ten points that doubles his tally for the year, and extends a seven-point margin over Araujo.
“Absolutely perfect, I'm really delighted,'' Sandell enthused, ''We were unable to push and make up time this morning because it was simply too slippery, but traction was getting much better on the second stage – and I also benefited slightly from Araujo's bad luck, of course.
''It's a great feeling to win twice in a row, but I'm also very upbeat for the future, because I'm getting more acquainted with the car all the time.”
Once again, the Swede and the Upper Austrian BRR team benefited from a trouble-free run with the Fabia S2000, keeping him in the hunt until the mixed surface event took its toll on the leader.
“Congratulations to the drivers, but to the entire team as well,'' team boss Raimund Baumschlager noted, ''I'm delighted, of course, with two wins in two starts - you can't ask for more - but I'm especially pleased to have proven that the Skoda Fabia S2000 is, by all means, competitive on gravel and that we've made the right decision as far as the car is concerned.”